The Kickstarter Blog

Standing Up for Creative Expression in Cuba

Today President Obama is in Havana during a historic visit to Cuba. He’s the first sitting U.S. president in 88 years to visit the country. The trip marks a significant step for diplomatic relations between two nations long cut off from one another. But what does it mean for the creative community? We're hoping it represents a significant step forward for art and culture.

Throughout decades of cultural isolation, artists in Cuba have been restricted by laws limiting freedom of expression — a human right core to creativity, art, and a vibrant, healthy culture.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera has experienced the constraints of those laws firsthand. Two years ago she tried to stage a performance in Havana’s Revolution Square welcoming citizens to speak freely in public for one minute. In a free society, taking a moment to speak freely in public may not seem revolutionary. But it was an artistic act that led to her detainment and the confiscation of her passport by the government.

Tania took that experience of disempowerment and is transforming it into something incredibly powerful. She recently launched a project on Kickstarter to create the Instituto de Artivismo Hannah Arendt — an arts institute that will fight political oppression and champion free speech. If she’s successful, it has the potential to help unlock the creativity of generations of artists and thinkers across an entire culture.

Freedom of expression is a value many of us take for granted, but not everyone enjoys. We believe deeply in the power of art to transform the world for the better and support a future where artists and creators all over the world can express themselves freely. We’re thrilled Tania has decided to bring her idea to life on Kickstarter, and a community of hundreds have already stepped up to pledge their support. Today we’re excited to stand with that community fighting for freedom of expression by backing Tania’s project as an organization. We hope you’ll stand with us, too.

Drip Joins Kickstarter

We’re excited to announce that Drip is joining Kickstarter today. Drip is an inspired community of independent artists, record labels, and audiences who support their work directly.

Launched five years ago by Ghostly International founder, Sam Valenti IV, and partner Miguel Senquiz, many of today's most respected and creative independent labels can be found on Drip — from Domino Records, Fool’s Gold, and Ghostly International, to Stones Throw, and Sub Pop. Like Kickstarter, artists on Drip enjoy closer connections to the fans who help sustain their work. And fans enjoy early access to new releases, rare tracks, unique experiences, visual art, exclusive video, writing, and beyond.

Many of us at Kickstarter have admired Drip over the years. At heart, we’ve been on similar paths. Strengthening the bonds between artists and audiences, and fostering the conditions for a more vibrant creative culture is at the core of our work at Kickstarter, too.

So how does this change things? In some ways, not at all. Our commitment to serving creators is hardcoded into our missions, and will continue to guide us. In other ways, we’re excited to discover where it leads. Miguel will join the team here at Kickstarter. Together we’ll all be able to serve creators, creativity, and our communities more powerfully. This is just the beginning.

In the meantime, if you’ve never visited Drip we hope you’ll check it out, and maybe even find an artist you’re inspired to support.

Behind the Music Projects: Resources Edition

Fun fact: with over 22,000 successful projects, the Music category has the most successfully-funded projects of any category on Kickstarter. People have paired food with classical music, hosted live performances with colorful visual projections, built recording studios, and much more. 

We've always admired the way creators channel the energy of live shows, album launches, and recording sessions into their live campaigns. That's why we've gathered a number of resources for budding musicians interested in launching their own project on Kickstarter. Whether you're a singer, soloist, producer, or band manager contemplating a new project, bookmark this post and consider it your quintessential guide to getting started.

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Your Guide to Kickstarter at SXSW

South by Southwest takes over Austin, Texas March 11–20, and we’ll be there with bells on. Here’s a quick guide to what the Kickstarter community — and a few of our teams — will be up to as we join the descent upon Bat City to celebrate music, film, and feats of creative innovation. Hope to see you there!

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Promises Matter

Today Kickstarter filed an amicus brief with 16 other companies to support Apple in its fight to protect the privacy and security of hundreds of millions of people.

If you haven't been following the case, here's some background: A federal district court recently ordered Apple to develop software that would empower the FBI to bypass security protections on the iPhone. Apple contends that providing this legal and technical workaround would have broad and dangerous privacy and security implications for the public. You can read more about the case here.

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Welcome to Campus!

When you’re working on a new project, there’s nothing more encouraging than having a solid crew of supporters in your corner. About a year ago, we launched Campus for just that –– it’s a space where creators can connect with one another, ask for advice about hurdles they’re facing, and trade insights into the creative process.

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Kickstarter Projects Recommended Just for You

There are 5,841 creative projects to discover, be inspired by, and support on Kickstarter right now. A couple hundred more from around the world will launch before the day is over. They spring from the minds of emerging and established creators of all stripes, and span the creative spectrum. There’s something for everyone. But how can you find the ones that speak directly to you?

Today we're announcing something helps with just that: Recommendations.

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The Kickstarter Film Team's Top Five Animated Films

We're thrilled to share that two acclaimed, animated Film projects from Kickstarter creators have been recognized by The Academy this year. Congratulations to Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson (Anomalisa, nominated for Best Animated Feature) and Don Hertzfeldt (World of Tomorrow, nominated for Best Animated Short) whose groundbreaking films are in the running to win the little gold man. We’ll be crossing our fingers Sunday night as we cheer on these talented Oscar nominees.

To celebrate these nominations, Liz Cook, George Schmalz, and Dan Schoenbrun from our Film team have put together a list of animated works that have influenced them and had lasting personal resonance.

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